An AOL Watch reader forwarded this letter to Steve Case. Their only comment? "Still growling..."

Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998
Subject: Marketing Preferences = always YES ??

To whomever was lucky enough to get this piece of mail :

I signed on today to find a huge yellow pop up for some worthless offer. Hmmm, I thought, "That's odd. I have always had Marketing Preferences set to NO offers of any kind from anywhere."

So off I went to Keyword Marketing Preferences to check them. Much to my surprise, I found that all spam areas indicated that *Yes* I did want these offers via phone, EMail, USPostal Mail and whatever else I went to great lengths to tell AOL *no* I do not want your SPAM !!!

I went back to each selection, and found that again, every area was marked *yes*

I went to my ~never~ used master screen name, thinking that perhaps these controls could be set only by the account owner (myself). There was the monster pop up. That name is ONLY used to set preferences, is known by no one, and has received only files from some long outdated list that came from who knows where.

I found only YES there, as well. I changed them to NO.. I checked. The YES POPPED UP AGAIN !!

Here is my specific question. What part of *NO* Does AOL not understand ? I have told you in the past that I do NOT want any contact from any advertiser. If I want a product, I will go find it.

I am forced to look at ads in profiles, I am forced to wait for ads to load each and every time I download. How can you force me to accept EMail, USMail and phone calls from these folks ?

I am currently on NO mailing databases except for local postal patron mailings. My phone number is non published and gets no marketing calls except from auto dialers. If I should receive even ONE call or piece of mail, you are going to have one extremely disgruntled customer on your hands. I value my privacy and have worked hard to protect it. I do not appreciate this invasion of my privacy.

Please FIX Keyword MARKETING PREFERENCES so that we can again see how our preferences are SET. I know that I said *yes* to NOTHING. This method of advertising despite clear directives NOT to do so is, without a doubt, a violation of ~something~ that I haven't the time to worry about. And no matter the law, the ethics of such methods are unquestionably poor.

Thank you for your prompt response to this letter and the prompt correction of AOL's error at Keyword MARKETING PREFS.

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